|July 21, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today joined seven other state attorneys general, the District of Columbia and the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in filling a legal challenge to stop a proposed merger of Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. Aetna is the nation’s third-largest health insurer, operates in every state and the District of Columbia and provides health insurance to 23 million people. Humana is the nation’s fifth-largest health insurer, operates in every state and the District of Columbia, and provides health insurance to 14 million people. According to the lawsuit, the merger of the two insurers would likely lead to higher prices and reduced benefits for Florida seniors, families and individuals.
“Competition in our health insurance markets is crucial to keeping premiums down and the quality of care up, particularly when it comes to our seniors and other vulnerable populations, the individuals most affected by this proposed acquisition,” said Attorney General Bondi. “It is important that we do everything we can to preserve competition in these markets.”
The lawsuit against Aetna and Humana alleges that the merger would substantially reduce Medicare Advantage competition in more than 350 counties in 21 states, affecting more than 1.5 million Medicare Advantage customers in those counties. While the threat to competition in Florida is statewide, the complaint alleges that the threat is particularly acute and presumptively unlawful in nine Florida counties: Broward, Charlotte, Duval, Manatee, Martin, Polk, Sarasota, St. Johns and St.Lucie.
The lawsuit also alleges that Aetna’s purchase of Humana would substantially reduce competition to sell commercial health insurance to individuals and families on the public exchanges in three Florida counties and 14 other counties in Georgia and Missouri, affecting more than 700,000 people in those counties. According to the complaint, the most affected counties in Florida are Broward, Palm Beach and Volusia. By buying Humana, Aetna would allegedly eliminate one of its strongest and most capable competitors in these markets.
Eight states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice filed the merger challenge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint alleges that the merger, valued at $37 billion, would harm seniors, working families and individuals, employers, doctors and other healthcare providers by limiting price competition, reducing benefits, decreasing incentives to provide innovative wellness programs and lowering the quality of care.
In addition to Florida and the DOJ, participants in the lawsuit include Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
To view the complaint filed, click here.